The Giants announced they’ve claimed catcher Dom Nuñez off waivers from the Rockies. San Francisco also selected infielder Isan Díaz onto their 40-man roster. The Giants announced that infielders Ford Proctor and Taylor Jones, outfielders Bryce Johnson and Austin Dean, and right-hander Zack Littell all went unclaimed on waivers.
Nuñez changes organizations for the first time in his career. The left-handed hitting backstop entered pro ball as a sixth-round draftee of Colorado back in 2013. Nuñez made his MLB debut in 2019 and has appeared in three of the last four seasons, mostly as a depth player. He has appeared in 111 big league games, tallying 347 plate appearances of .180/.280/.373 hitting. Nuñez has walked in an excellent 12.4% of his plate appearances but struck out at an untenable 34% rate in the majors.
The 27-year-old has one minor league option year remaining. If he holds his spot on the Giants 40-man roster all winter, they can freely bounce him between San Francisco and Triple-A Sacramento next season. An Elk Grove native, Nuñez has a .240/.336/.400 line in parts of eight minor league seasons. He joins Joey Bart and Austin Wynns as catchers on the 40-man roster.
Díaz is a former top prospect who went to the Marlins in the Christian Yelich trade. He hit only .185/.275/.287 over 500 trips to the plate from 2019-21. Miami outrighted the switch-hitting second baseman off the 40-man roster in March, and he cleared waivers at the time. The Giants acquired him for cash not long after and assigned him to Sacramento for the 2022 campaign.
The 26-year-old connected on 23 longballs in 83 Triple-A games this year. He posted an excellent .275/.377/.574 line with a 13% walk rate to put himself back on the radar. San Francisco didn’t call up Díaz at any point during the season, but they’ll devote him a 40-man roster spot for now to keep him from hitting minor league free agency. He still has a minor league option remaining, so he can bounce between San Francisco and Sacramento if he holds the 40-man spot over the winter.
San Francisco acquired Proctor from the Rays in August. He made his big league debut late in the season, appearing in seven games. Jones came over from the Astros on waivers in September, while Dean was claimed last offseason. Johnson is a former sixth-rounder who made his MLB debut in September, getting into 11 games.
Littell has the most experience of the group of outrighted players. The right-hander has pitched in parts of five big league seasons with the Twins and Giants. Littell was a high-leverage arm in 2021, pitching to a 2.92 ERA across 61 2/3 frames. He only managed a 5.08 ERA through 44 1/3 innings this year. Rather than tender him an arbitration contract in the $900K range, San Francisco ran him through waivers.
Proctor and Johnson will remain in the organization and try to play their way onto the 40-man roster. Littell, Dean and Jones will have the ability to qualify for minor league free agency.